Stopping power is crucial for a safe and successful driving experience. When your vehicle needs brakes, or comes time for a brake inspection, visit Cecil Clark Chevrolet in Leesburg. Our Certified Service experts understand your car, truck and even SUV better than anyone.
Brake Service and Replacement
Major components of your braking system, like pads, rotors and caliper, will need to be replaced/repaired as part of regular brake service and maintenance during your ownership of your Chevrolet vehicle. The Certified Service experts at Cecil Clark Chevrolet have you covered. They can recommend quality brakes, like components from ACDelco. Our Certified Service technicians will help get you back on the road safely.
Are your brakes signaling a problem?
Sometimes, your Chevrolet vehicle’s brakes will let you know when there is trouble. Whistling noises, chirping and grinding are all indications that brake service may be required. Some common causes of brake pedal pulsation or noise are:
- Worn Pads
- Cracked or Worn Rotors
- Loose Brake pads in the caliper
- Missing or damaged insulators
- Uneven torque of lug nuts or hardware
Most Chevrolet vehicles come equipped with a small, thin piece of metal attached to your brake pad. This metal piece is there to warn you when the material is getting to low and should be replaced. When your brakes are worn and need replacing, this device makes a chirping noise on the brake application, letting you know they need to be serviced soon.
Brake Service Questions
Q: How do I know when I need brake service?
A: Brake pads are equipped with wear indicators that produce a squealing noise when the brakes are almost worn out. The noise may be present with or without the brake pedal applied, but when noise is heard from the wear indicator, the brake pads should be replaced as soon as possible. Wear indicators are set to create noise when there is around 2 mm of brake pad friction material thickness remaining. In the case of assessing pad wear through inspection, pads should be replaced at or before 2 mm thickness is reached. Brake rotors are marked with a “minimum thickness” on the casting (usually 2 mm to 3 mm less than the new rotor thickness). Rotors should be replaced before they reach this minimum thickness and should not be turned below this.
Q: Must my rotors always be turned when changing my pads?
A: No. If there are no conditions such as pedal pulsation or steering-wheel vibration during braking, and the brake rotor is at least 1 mm thicker than the discard thickness, then it does not need to be turned or replaced.
Q: Why are my brakes squealing?
A: Brake squeal is caused by the high-frequency vibration of brake components (rotor, calipers, and/or pads) in response to excitation from the brake friction process. A significant amount of time and engineering goes into eliminating brake squeal from original equipment brake components. Brake components are engineered as a complete system—factory-original performance can only be assured when using original equipment brake pads and rotors. When brake squeal occurs, there may be damage or excessive wear on one or more components affecting noise, including the brake pads, the noise-damping shim that is bonded to the brake pad, or the rotor friction surface. In addition, it should be recognized that high-performance and track-capable brake systems using high-performance pad materials will always be at higher risk for producing brake squeal noise, even when no damage to the components is present.
Q: How long do brake pads normally last?
A: Brake pad life depends on driving habits, vehicle usage, and operating environment. Brake systems are designed to provide 20,000 to 25,000 miles of pad life in very severe use (such as heavy-traffic urban areas) and will give 40,000 to 60,000 miles of pad life in average use. Factors that will reduce pad life include frequent heavy braking, elevated temperatures (caused by high-speed braking, driving in mountainous areas), driving with the vehicle heavily loaded, and severe environments such as high-corrosion areas and areas with a lot of road debris and dust.
Q: Do metallic brake pads eat rotors?
A: Yes. Pads with higher metal content will tend to operate with more abrasive friction, where hard metal particles in the pad interact directly with the brake rotor surface. Use of metallic pads will create more brake dust and will shorten the rotor life. Non-asbestos organic pads (also known as ceramic pads) used on most GM vehicles in North America develop a transfer film, a layer of material on the pad and rotor surface that acts as a cushion (at a microscopic scale) between the brake pad and rotor, protecting both from abrasive interaction that causes wear.
Q: My brake pads are extremely dusty, is this normal?
A: Brake dust can occur to some extent on most brake systems, but it is significantly more noticeable with metallic pads and on high-performance brake systems. Brake dust is a mix of debris from the brake rotor, which is the most significant component, and debris from the brake pads. Pad materials that wear the rotor more aggressively will cause more dust.
Q: Aren’t all brake rotors the same?
A: There are often significant differences between original equipment and aftermarket brake rotors. While brake rotors designed to fit the same vehicle will often be similar in appearance and dimensions, there can be differences in internal cooling vane design, thickness of the brake plates (against which the brake pad rubs), and the grade and material specification of the cast iron. For original equipment brake rotors, significant analysis and testing goes into determining the right geometry to minimize thermal distortion and squeal noise and to maximize cooling. Similar rigor is put into the material selection, which also affects the risk of squeal noise as well as friction and wear properties.
Schedule your appointment today with our Service Department at Cecil Clark Chevrolet, to get your brakes inspected.